A Carleton University professor and a mother-daughter pair from Edmonton are among the 18 Canadians killed in Sunday’s plane crash in Ethiopia.
A jetliner carrying 157 people crashed shortly after takeoff from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, killing everyone aboard, authorities said. The dead included people from at least 35 nationalities.
Pius Adesanmi, Nigeria-born director of Carleton University’s Institute of African Studies and a professor at the Ottawa school, was among passengers on the Boeing 737 Max 8 when it crashed shortly after takeoff near the town of Bishoftu, 62 kilometres southeast of the capital, Carleton University said Global Affairs Canada confirmed.
“Pius was a towering figure in African and post-colonial scholarship and his sudden loss is a tragedy,” said Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Carleton’s president and vice-chancellor. Adesanmi was the winner of the inaugural Penguin Prize for African non-fiction writing in 2010.
Edmonton resident Amina Ibrahim Odowa, 33, and her five-year-old daughter Sofia Abdulkadir were also killed, a family member confirmed to CBC News.
Odowa leaves behind two daughters, ages seven and three.
Derick Lwugi, an accountant from Calgary, also died, a friend of his family told CBC News.
Lwugi, 53, volunteered as an assistant pastor, sat on the board of the non-profit Abeingo Association Canada and founded the Kenyan Community in Calgary group.
Absolutely crushed to learn that one of my @cityofcalgary colleagues, wonderful community leader Derick Lwugi, was amongst those killed in the plane crash this morning in Ethiopia. All our love to his family, friends, colleagues, and all those touched by his life of service.
Danielle Moore, a 24-year-old woman who grew up in Toronto and worked in Winnipeg at the charity Canada Learning Code, was also killed.
Moore was among a group headed to a United Nations environmental conference.
Peter DeMarsh of Taymouth, N.B., was also killed, according to a post on the Facebook account of Helen DeMarsh.
“Our circle was broken today with the sudden tragic loss of my beloved brother Peter on the Ethiopian Airlines crash this morning,” his sister wrote on Facebook. “He was profoundly dear to me, I looked up to him and I will miss him every day for the rest of my life. Just days ago he met me at the airport with the biggest hug and warmest welcome.
“Praying for him as we remember his brilliance, devotion to humanity and the wellbeing of the planet. Staying with my mom who has just lost her eldest child and mainstay. Grateful for your prayers for our family, especially his wife Jean and son Luke.”
DeMarsh was chair of the International Family Forestry Alliance and of the Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners. The leader of the province’s Green Party called him “an old friend.”
I was shocked to hear that Peter deMarsh was among those who died in the the Ethiopian Air crash. My deepest sympathy to Jean and their son Luke. Good- bye old friend. You gave so much of your self in service to the common good.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees said a Canadian-born employee was one of two of its staff lost in the crash.
A spokesperson for the UNHCR said Jessica Hyba, a communications officer, had been working at the organization’s headquarters in Geneva, but had recently been reassigned to Mogadishu, Somalia, and was “eager to get back to the field and working with refugees again.” Joung-ah Ghedini-Williams said Hyba leaves behind two young daughters.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent condolences via Twitter to the families. The government also provided a phone number for Canadians in Ethiopia to call for consular assistance.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Twitter: “Terrible news from #Addis Ababa, #Ethiopia, this morning.”
My heartfelt condolences to all those who have lost loved ones. The Canadian government is in close contact with Ethiopian authorities to gather additional information as quickly as possible.”
The other 13 Canadians who died in the crash have yet to be identified.